the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee released its report on Turkey a few days ago. It was expectedly critical. In the mean time, Turkey uses her NATO cards in his foreign policy dealings and of course Middle East affairs remain to be a significant field in Turkish foreign policy that might possibly influence TR-US relations…and CHP has taken anew interest in the EU process. Mr. Baykal paid a visit to Brussels…
As it has done on various occasions over the last three years, the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee yesterday (11 February) expressed concern about a "continuous slowdown of the reform process" in Turkey, in a resolution adopted by overwhelming majority…
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ali Babacan indicated last week that Ankara would not make any objections over France’s return to the military command of the alliance, from which it withdrew totally in 1966.
The natural gas pipeline involving Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria — also known as the Nabucco project — which seeks to ensure transport of natural gas reserves from the Middle East and the Caspian region to European markets, is an important project for the energy security of the region that plans to meet the growing natural gas needs of the countries involved in the project and others.
It is an opinion not well disguised in this newspaper that the leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is damaged goods.
Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in Brussels on a mission to save Turkey’s European Union bid. It’s almost hard to believe, but this is Erdogan’s first visit to the EU’s headquarters since 2004, when Turkey started its arduous accession talks with the bloc.
A few weeks ago while in Brussels, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated that the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) was against EU membership. Earlier this week, CHP leader Deniz Baykal visited Brussels, after an absence of some five years, to rebuke Erdoğan’s claim and try to set the record straight on where the CHP stands.
State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Çiçek has said that the Christian Democrats who have assumed office in EU member countries have been cool toward Turkey’s prospective membership.
Deniz Baykal, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), which is panic-stricken and does not know what to do as the municipal elections of March 29 near, is now preparing — after his chador and Quran course initiatives, which have been viewed with skepticism by voters as moves to attract votes in the local elections — for another initiative, i.e., a European Union initiative. If all goes as planned, Baykal will go to Brussels for talks today.
This week on Thursday the European Union Information Center (EUIC) in Ankara hosted an event on the EU’s four main liberties. It was a timely mini-conference, as we are witnessing a period of economic crisis (on a global level, that is) and, of course, with a view to facilitating Turkey’s EU accession.
From time to time, we witness very superficial stances on foreign policy which ignore or overlook the multi-dimensionality and importance of Turkish-US relations.
The Gaza tension elevated by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Davos has led to interesting and sometimes conflicting comments and discussions suggesting that Turkey should forget about European Union membership after the incident.
Israel’s Gaza operation showed that the conditions are not conducive to lasting peace in the region. The primary reason for the Gaza operation was to undermine the opposition’s growing popularity before the general elections in Israel.,
You may not like Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s style. You may argue that Turkey, without solving its domestic problems, cannot play the role in its region that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government wants it to play.
Professor Avi Shlaim became one of the best-known names worldwide during the recent Israeli offensive in Gaza, which killed more than 1,300 people — almost half of them civilians.
Some of the arguments against Prime Ministe
r Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s walkout at Davos function as veiled threats.
During the week, the Turkish public has been talking about the harsh way Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reacted when he was treated unfairly by a moderator and directly insulted by Israeli President Shimon Peres during a panel discussion in Davos.
[Originally published in HÃ¼rriyet Daily News] Last Thursday night, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip ErdoÄan suddenly became the focus of all the news channels in the country. The reason was that he had stormed the diplomatic scene at a World Economic Forum panel in Davos by accusing Israeli President Shimon Peres for "killing people," and reminding the biblical commandment, "Thou shall not kill." This was not just breaking news to the media, but also music to the ears of millions of Turks who were deeply touched by the recent bloodshed that Israel caused in the Gaza Strip. Some of them even hit the streets in order to welcome ErdoÄan, who had decided to come to Istanbul right away after the tense debate. Thousands of cars headed toward the AtatÃ¼rk airport in the middle of the night in order to welcome "the conqueror of Davos."
The Economist Turkey‘s prime minister Temper tantrumsA dramatic Davos walkout raises new questions about Recep Tayyip Erdogan
CSM A setback for Turkey as Mideast brokerPrime Minister Erdogan’s popular tirade on Gaza also hurt his credibility.
Radio France Internationale (RFI), 02/02/2009
Jérôme Bastion, de notre correspondant à Istanbul
Au Forum économique mondial de Davos, le Premier ministre turc a fait sensation en quittant un débat en cours avec le président israélien Shimon Peres. Son attitude est acclamée par le monde arabe, elle reflète une montée en puissance de la Turquie sur la scène régionale, voire internationale.
Son portrait a été brandi avec des drapeaux rouge et blanc par les manifestants palestiniens de la bande de Gaza, quelques heures après son coup d’éclat à Davos : le chef du gouvernement turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan s’est vu du jour au lendemain adulé en héros du monde arabe.
Stratfor (USA) February 2, 2009
By George Friedman
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan exploded during a public discussion with Israeli President Shimon Peres at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week. Erdogan did not blow up at Peres, but rather at the moderator , Washington Post columnist and associate editor David Ignatius, whom Erdogan accused of giving more time to Peres. Afterward, Erdogan said, “I did not target at all in any way the Israeli people, President Peres or the Jewish people. I am a prime minister, a leader who has expressly stated that anti-Semitism is a crime against humanity.”
The stories of Hamas and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) are very different from each other. Turkey and Israel are two countries not to be compared.
On the one hand, Khaled Mashaal, a Hamas leader living in Damascus, stated last Friday that only Syria, Iran and Turkey supported Gaza during the Israeli offensive.
Le Monde (France), 1 février 2009, p. 6
La ” sortie ” de M. Erdogan à Davos pourrait nuire aux efforts de la diplomatie turque
Le premier ministre turc, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a fait une sortie aussi fracassante que remarquée, jeudi 29 janvier, au Forum économique de Davos (Suisse), après avoir tenu tête, dans cette ambiance d’ordinaire si feutrée, au président israélien, Shimon Peres. Une sortie particulièrement appréciée par l’opinion arabe et musulmane, au lendemain des événements de Gaza.
Faruk Loğoğlu Davos: the stage, the street and diplomacy
A lobby that has been working stealthily in the media and in diplomatic circles has been claiming, as its main line of argument, that having harshly protested against Israel for the massacre it perpetrated in Gaza, Turkey will have to pay a heavy price and that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s debate in Davos has only served to accelerate the payback process.
In one of his recent articles (Feb. 6), Cengiz Çandar made an important observation that deserves
some thought. “The Turkish opponents of [Prime Minster Recep] Tayyip Erdoğan are rubbing their hands with the possibility that the cross [which has been drawn] over Erdoğan’s photo in Israel will also be drawn by Washington.
The recent visit to Turkey by Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority, needs to be taken into account. Even the fact that this visit coincides with a period in which people have started asking, after the "Davos crisis," whether Turkey is preparing to become the advocate of Hamas has meaning in itself.
During the Bush presidency, the relations between Turkey and US were severely damaged. The Washington administration has an immense responsibility in this case. Turkey gave full support to the US’ combat against terror. In this regard, Ankara sent Turkish soldiers to Afghanistan and acted in accordance with its Western allies in order to capture the militants of Al-Qaeda in Turkey or anywhere. Meanwhile, Turkey undertook a constructive role in the Middle East problems. However, when the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) rejected the US’ request to base US troops in Turkey for an assault on Iraq on March 1, 2003, the US’ Turkey policy was completely changed. As a result, Washington started to implement a ‘punishment strategy’ against Turkey. Turkey is a democratic country and the government must implement its policies in line with the decisions of the parliament. The Turkish Government sincerely wanted to pass the 1 March Parliament Note (tezkere) to allow the US troops to use Turkish territories, yet the Government had no option but to implement the taken decision.
ISTANBUL – The Armenian lobby in Washington is fully mobilized and highly motivated to re-launch its attempts to have recognized the Armenian claims regarding the 1915 incidents, but that does not mean their allegations would be recognized by the White House, a former ambassador of the U.S. to Ankara said.
The outcome of the elections sent Israel into a political limbo that could last for weeks, a process that would harm the truce and peace efforts for Gaza.
"Turkey’s Obsession With Mediation
By CENGIZ AKTAR
Since succeeding in launching membership talks with the European Union in December 2004 Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) turned its attention to regional issues. In an unprecedented policy initiative, it added its geographical and historical kin to Turkey’s two-century-old western inclination. The initiative is necessary and important. However, its timing and implementation are much too premature and utilitarian."
"In His Own Words: Erdogan on Israel, Hamas, and the Gaza Conflict
February 11, 2009
On January 29, Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan walked out of a panel that included Israeli president Shimon Peres at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, further suggesting to skeptics that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) is turning its back on the West. Erdogan also chided Peres for ‘being old’ and said to him,